Ethiopian Ambassador Berhane Gebre-Christos's Oct. 7 letter is an example of Ethiopia's efforts to frustrate a political solution to the border dispute that has caused the loss of thousands of lives and the displacement of hundreds of thousands more.

The Organization of African Unity's (OAU) peace plan for Ethiopia and Etritrea was worked out with both parties. Both parties reached an understanding that "the document containing Technical Arrangements is not open to amendment."

But on Sept. 4 Ethiopia issued a statement saying the Technical Arrangements were unacceptable; it is insisting that disputed areas within Eritrean territory be guaranteed to be found "Ethiopian" prior to accepting the OAU peace plan.

The OAU peace plan calls for both parties to withdraw from the border area that will come under the control of an international force until the U.N.'s technical unit can demarcate the border in accordance with colonial treaties and international law.

Ethiopia is using these delaying tactics to build up forces along the border in preparation for an attempt to occupy even more Eritrean territory. It is importing arms and foreign advisers and has ordered the evacuation of all foreigners from Tigray province, just as it did before its offensive in February. It has stated that it intends to overthrow the Eritrean government and install its own puppet administration.

It is time for the international community to move beyond reasonable but unsuccessful efforts to obtain peace. Other nations must use their political and economic weight to avoid further loss of life and destruction in a region that sorely needs to focus on development.



Embassy of Eritrea